The Galeries Lafayette are surely the most typical place to go shopping when you’re on holidays in Paris.
In these stores, which are based on the model of Harrods in London, you can buy almost everything you want in the most famous French and International luxury brands.
But this neighborhood is not only made of “Grands Magasins”, but also of specific things you should visit after buying your Vuitton bag. Here is a list of the best things to do near Galeries Lafayette.
THE SAINT LAZARE TRAIN STATION: A PIECE OF HISTORY NEAR THE GALERIES
First of all, you should take a look at the Saint Lazare train station. Its façade is one of the most iconic in Paris. Built as the first station of Paris in 1837, this building is considered a historical monument since 1984.
Its façade is the same as when it was built, and is one of the only ones that has survived the Haussmannian reconstruction of Paris from the 1850’s. Each year, more than 100 million people are passing through this station, which trains mainly go to Normandy.
You could also take a look at the “Bulle” (“bubble”, see picture), which is the only metro entrance shaped like this in Paris. Also, one of the only Burger King restaurants in Paris is located within this station. Moreover, around the station, there are a lot of typical Parisian bars and brasseries.
I’d personally advise you to go to the Café Cour de Rome (3 Rue de la Pépinière), which is very good and not so expensive for the neighborhood.
FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD: THE OPERA GARNIER
If you go down the Rue de Rome (just next to the Rue de la Pépinière, near Saint Lazare train station) up to the Rue Auber, you’ll soon get in front of the Opéra Garnier.
This building, ranked as a historical monument as well in 1923, and is a typical Napoleon III architecture example. This building, designed by Charles Garnier, offers quality representations of the Paris Opera at night. Tickets can be cheap if you show up just before the show starts.
A must-see if you’re into French classical music, opera or ballet! Before the show, you can go to the “Café de la Paix” (5 Place de l’Opéra), which is a very nice and pretty famous French food restaurant, but is quite expensive. Otherwise, you can eat at the “Relais Paris Opéra” (1 Rue Auber), which is great and cheaper.
ADDITIONAL TIP: VISIT THE MOST HISTORICAL OF ALL MCDONALD’S RESTAURANTS
Near Saint Lazare, you wouldn’t like to miss the only McDonald’s restaurant in France that is ranked as a historical monument. This building is very different from the rest of this neighborhood and the rest of Paris. Located at the 119 Rue Saint Lazare, its timber architecture is the same inside.
But (un)fortunately, you can only order the regular McDonald’s meals, and not some fancy Parisian vintage Big Mac… And you, what did/would you like to see around Galeries Lafayette?